Sundowns through to MTN8 semifinals

Mamelodi Sundowns eased into the semifinals of the 2018 MTN8 with a 2-0 win over Golden Arrows at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Sibusiso Vilakazi and Wayne Arendse saw the Brazilians overpower Abafana Bes’thende and become the first name into the hat for the final four.

Sundowns dominated possession from early on, but initially struggled to break down a resilient Arrows defence, with centre-backs Limbikani Mzava and Nkanyosi Mngwengwe ensuring that the likes of Jeremy Brockie, Lebohang Maboe and Sibusiso Vilakazi were kept quiet.

The Brazilians’ first real opening arrived just after the half-hour mark when Themba Zwane teed up Vilakazi just inside the penalty area, but the attacker blazed a left-footed shot high and wide.

Yet the former Wits made no mistake with the right foot in the 40th minute, blasting a shot from the edge of the box into the back of the net after good set-up play from Brockie, Gaston Sirino and Zwane.

Vilakazi’s beautiful strike ensured the hosts held a 1-0 lead heading into the half-time break.

Arrows showed far more attacking intent early in the second half, so much so that Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane looked to bolster his central midfield with the introduction of the combative Andile Jali 10 minutes after the restart.

Abafana Bes’thende came close to an equaliser in the 64th minute, as Danny Venter sent a shot direct from a free kick just wide of Kennedy Mweene’s right-hand post.

Yet ‘Downs effectively killed off the game in the 70th minute, as Sirino provided a fine cross from the right flank which allowed Wayne Arendse to score with a stooping header at the far post and make it 2-0 to the team in yellow and blue.

Just over 10 minutes later Knox Mutizwa – who scored a brilliant acrobatic volley in the league last weekend – tried an overhead effort, but sent the shot over the crossbar without troubling Mweene.

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Vilakazi 40’, Arendse 70’)
Golden Arrows 0

Sundowns: Mweene, Morena, Madisha, Arendse, Lakay, Kekana, Zwane, Sirino, Vilakazi (Ngcongca 69’), Maboe (Jali 55’), Brockie (Ali Meza 83’)

Arrows: Gumede, Zwane, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Lunga (Joao Moreira 76’), Molefe, Sibiya (Phiri 81’), Conca (Magubane 68’), Mutizwa, Venter, Lamola